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PIA Reacts to USPS Rate Hike Announcement; Urges Swift Congressional Action on Postal Reform

Press release from the issuing company

Alexandria, VA, May 5, 2006-- The Printing Industries of America (PIA) reacted to the United States Postal Services's (USPS) May 3 announcement of a significant planned postal rate increase to take effect in 2007, noting in a letter to Congressional leaders that the USPS move is another indicator that the nation is operating under severely outdated postal laws. PIA also stated that a legislative overhaul is needed to keep the mailing industry--which accounts for 9 percent of America's GDP--viable in the future. "The new proposed rate hike is another pocket-book reminder for business and individual consumers that the USPS is a 21st century entity operating under laws that do not allow for current communications trends, the Internet Age, increasing costs of health and labor benefits for USPS employees and retirees, and other modern-day marketplace realities," said Lisbeth Lyons, Vice President of Government Affairs for PIA. Lyons also went on to say, "Under the leadership of Senator Susan Collins, Senator Tom Carper, Representative Tom Davis, and Representative Henry Waxman, Congress is on the cusp of approving the first major overhaul of postal laws in 36 years. While the bipartisan bills that passed overwhelmingly in both chambers do not solve all problems associated with postal reform, they do take great strides to improve the current situation. Now, especially in light of the USPS announcement, is the time for Congress to complete this important legislative work." Key provisions in the Senate- and House-passed postal bills address problems in payments for postal employee pensions. They also tie future rate increases to the consumer price index to provide more predictability and affordability for mailing economy. The printing industry is a key segment within the $900 billion mailing economy, which also includes paper, publishing, financial services, direct marketing, retail, and manufacturing industries, as well as general small business. PIA members across the country have delivered hundreds of grassroots communications to Congress in support of passing postal reform this year. The "Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act" (S. 662; H.R. 22) passed the Senate in February 2006 and the House of Representatives in August 2005.